Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Following God’s Example

Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

So who stands out in our lives as an example we follow? As a child and a youth – I had favorite ballplayers I followed. Boog Powell – Brooks Robinson – Frank Robinson – were players I liked in my youth. They played for my home team Baltimore Orioles. Eddie Murray – Cal Ripken – and others were baseball players I followed later in my life. In basketball some of my favorites were Wes Unseld – Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Walt Frazier (from the Baltimore Bullets). In football I liked Johnny Unitas – Raymond Berry – Tom Matte. They were football players – Baltimore Colts – that I followed.

In school I had my favorite teachers – did you? I had my favorite singing groups I followed as well like James Taylor – Cat Stevens – Stevie Wonder – 3 Dog Night – Diana Ross and the Supremes and more. I had men and women who I looked up to in church and in other circles. I looked up to my dad the most. Continue reading

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July 13, 2017 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving Our Lives For Jesus

Matthew 10:39

Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

RayMcDYesterday we remembered Martin Luther King Jr. I typically attend a MLK breakfast on that day but had a church member’s funeral service in the morning and a trip to West Virginia for her internment. I did spend some time talking with folks about MLK and his legacy. I also spent some time listening to some of his speeches online. MLK literally gave his life for his cause and his movement – the civil rights movement (he was assassinated on April 4th – 1968 – for his cause).

Others have given their all for their causes. People like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are people who lived their causes to the brink for what they believed. People like Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale also gave their all for their causes. I’m sure our readers could think of others as well. Continue reading

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Imitation Is The Highest Form Of Flattery

1 Thessalonians 1:6

You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

RayMcDImitation is the highest form of flattery. I remember one winter – when my dad went outside to split wood for the fireplace – I tried to step in his footprints. I failed – but I tried. I was trying to walk where my father walked.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I remember mom and dad taking a movie picture of me playing ball against the wall of our chimney – trying to be Brooks Robinson – imitating the best.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. I remember when I was young – we had a small band – and tried to imitate the latest group – the latest craze.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Do we remember trying to dress like someone or fix our hair like someone? Do we remember trying to fit in by looking just like our peers? Continue reading

September 8, 2016 Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Love Must Be Sincere – Real

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

RevRayMcCan we remember growing up and playing pretend? I was a second child and had an older sister. She had me playing house with her and her dolls and with her friends when they were old enough to come over. I remember pushing my sisters around in her large baby buggy and her me. I also remember something I did that I am not proud of – involving the baby buggy – my sister – and the hill in our front yard. If you want more – ask my sister.

Can we remember growing up and playing pretend? I remember playing ball against the chimney at the parsonage at Mt. Zion. I would bounce my ball of the chimney for hours – playing catch as it came off the wall – pretending to be Brooks Robinson or Boog Powell. There was a steep hill not too far from the chimney and soon I had several balls down the hill (which I was not allowed to retrieve). It didn’t keep me from playing pretend – I would throw an imaginary ball against the wall and didn’t miss a single one coming off the wall. Continue reading

July 1, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Life Transformations

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

RevRayMcFrom time to time – shows appear on TV that seem to be popular. Shows like Extreme Makeover or Strong or Biggest Losers appeal to the general population because we like to believe – given the right circumstances – we can all become better than we are right now. We can lose the weight – we can reshape our appearance – we can have a better life. If nothing else – we can get lost in the fantasy of someone else’s transformation and wish it were really about our lives.

From time to time – most of us – looking back on the life choices that have led us to where we find ourselves – most of us would change a few. We often hear people say – if I had it all to do over again I wouldn’t change a thing – but in reality – most of us would change some things.

From time to time – have we ever thought of taking a different career path? Have we ever thought about living in a different part of the country or even a different part of the world? Have we ever regretted choices we have made? I bet the answer to that is a resounding YES for many of us. Continue reading

June 28, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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